In a large saucepan, bring wine, 2 cups water, sugar, and cinnamon just to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
Discard cinnamon; add pitted cherries. Raise heat to medium; simmer until cherries begin to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; let cool.
Puree cherry mixture in a blender or food mill. Refrigerate until cold, about 40 minutes. Strain; stir in kirsch or brandy, if desired. Garnish with whole cherries.
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